Good PhD research racial profiles in drugs – and does Shaun actually fall in love with anybody apart from Lea?
The Monday episode of The Good Doctor not only dealt with racial profiles in modern medicine, it forced one of the residents to take a good hard look in the mirror and face her own preconceptions.
After misdiagnosing a patient, Claire made a disturbing discovery about certain hospital practices. In terms of pain management, the data showed that St. Bonaventure's under-treated African American and Latinx patients by a significant margin and that they need to do better. The numbers were cracked after Claire used pattern processing techniques taught in medical school to treat Zara Norton, a 34-year-old black woman who was rushed to the emergency room after a cardiac event. Based on her preconceived notions about this "noisy and messy" patient, Claire administered an ACE inhibitor to lower Zara's blood pressure. Because the result supported Claire's hypothesis that this was a standard case of high blood pressure often diagnosed in black women, she nearly missed the diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes unusually thick.
When Zara learned that Claire was only giving the ACE inhibitor under the assumption, she asked to see Dr. Remove Browne from her case. She even requested to be moved to another hospital for her corrective procedure, but Dr. Glassman convinced her that if she stayed there, she would get the best possible treatment. Andrews, Asher, and Enrique had an unforeseen complication during open heart surgery. From the observation deck, Claire verbally intervened and saved Zara's life.
After the surgery, Claire confronted Zara and admitted that it was her fault. By the time Zara got to the emergency room, Claire had made racial assumptions, unaware that those assumptions were based on her own racial profiling experience.
"When I got to medical school, people would take one look at me and think they knew who I am: 'Black girl with financial aid,'" said Claire. She can't be that smart. She must have taken a lot of breaks, will probably need a lot more … "I worked so hard to prove them wrong, that I wasn't who they thought I was, that I deserved to be there, that I fit in … When you walked into the emergency room loud and messy, I saw all I tried not to be. I think it made me angry and I am ashamed of it. And I'm really sorry. "
In response, Zara said to Claire that she "used to be like this" but she was "getting tired of working so hard to make the whites comfortable". Then it clicked on Dr. Browne. And when she discussed the matter further with Enrique, the two of them agreed on how exhausting it had been to prove yourself and get to where you are now.
Elsewhere this week, Lim was challenged by the special circumstances of a pregnant patient with an aggressive pituitary tumor. The patient was Rio Gutierrez, a trans man whose recent failure of testosterone injections enabled him and his fiancé Eli to father a child. His decision to deliver the child and undergo an alternative procedure nearly cost him his vision, but the chief of surgery saved the day. Rio would make a full recovery.
As for Lim, after weeks of vehemently denying that she needed help fighting her post-traumatic stress disorder, one final episode in the operating room became her first. After Rio stopped operating, Lim returned to her office and got a prescription from her desk. She later told Andrews and Claire that they were taking Sertraline (aka Zoloft) to treat their condition.
After Shaun and Lea in the form of the second year in radiology based Dr. Cintia D’Souza pointed out a potential obstacle for Shaun and Lea, Monday’s episode revealed that the big kiss featured in upcoming attractions was part of a dream sequence. Although Park and Jordan advised him otherwise, Shaun told Lea about his work. Lea wasn't impressed, but she had to help Shaun understand that his sexy dream didn't signal a problem in their relationship. To Dr. To make D’Souza less desirable for her boyfriend, Lea Shaun exposed the resident's “irresponsible salad bar practices” – hence the title of the episode. Relationship crisis averted!
What do you think about The Good Doctor Season 4, Episode 9? Leave a comment with your full rating.